WORLD CHAMPION WRESTLER DEFENSE
• INTRODUCTION by Antonino Rocca
"Why exercise?" is a question that you have already answered in your own way by opening this book. But until you have gone through this complete program of exercises with regular and systematic repetition, you will never appreciate the full feeling of physical freedom, the joy of well-being, and the complete pleasure of being alive that come from being physically fit.
For the young, exercise will supply a strong foundation for all sports and athletics. For the adult, it will help ward off the tensions and frustrations of modern life, and will make work easier and leisure more fun. Intelligent and moderate use of this program by older people will help them to quicken their step, keep up with their grandchildren, and have a feeling of general well-being and vigor often thought to belong only to the young. The Rocca Exercise Program will help everyone sleep better, eat more wisely, and resist disease. It will open the lungs, strengthen and steady the heartbeat, tighten the skin, and improve over-all appearance.
What equipment do you need to exercise with Rocca? Nothing, really. but the corner of a bedroom, living room, shop, or office and the will to exercise with Rocca.
How much time will it take? Fifteen minutes a day should be sufficient, but don't spend your time watching the clock. Some days you may have the time and energy to work longer; other days you might not feel like exercising at all, Don't give in to this feeling. It can be fatal to your training program and development. Exercise at least enough to expand your breathing and step up your circulation. You might then surprise yourself by not wanting to stop.
You cannot become physically fit in a single day, EO don't rush your program. There is no such thing as instant exercise. Reaching the peak of condition can take several months, or longer.
Begin gradually and easily. Most people will feel some soreness and stiffness the first few days. This is a good indication of how much your muscles have been neglected. After a few days of exercise, the aches 1
and pains should gradually disappear.
Deep breathing is an important part of all exercise, so keep the windows wide open when you work out. Keep your mouth wide open too, breathing naturally but fully as you perform the exercises. Inhale fully as you bend or push. Exhale fully as you retu rn to the sta rting position of each exercise. In normal everyday breathing only one third of the lung capacity is used, leaving the other two thirds full of stale, useless air. So use the muscles of your midsection and abdomen 10 help blow out all the stale air and get your lungs functioning to their full capacity.
Blood circulation is as vital to the body as gasoline is to the running of an automobile. The blood takes oxygen from the lungs and circulates itto every cell in the body; it also carries wastes from the tissues back to the lungs, where they are exhaled.
Blood supplies nourishment to the brain, making you able to hear, see, and think. It carries nutrition from your digestive system to your muscles, and as you 'exercise, this blood flow to the muscles under strain is greatly increased. This internal feeding of the muscles stimulated by exercise is what makes them grow and become much stronger. I like to call this the system of automatic massage throughout the entire body.
As a result of our constantly improving technology, the tasks of everyday living have become easier and easier. Driving a car has been made practically effortless. Even in heavy-duty trucks and vans, emphasis has been placed on ease and comfort. Many are now equipped with power steering, power brakes, and even automatic windows. Mechanical equipment for lifting heavy materials saves man from taxing his muscles. The housewife can call upon an army of appliances to make her household chores quicker and easier. Even the do-it-yourselfer is aided by laborsaving devices. Instead of exercising with a handsaw or sanding block, he has access to power tools that do the job effortlessly and in a fraction of the time required to do it by hand.
These wonderful work- and effort-savers have, however. created a problem. Our muscles and reflexes may become flabby and unresponsive as the regular demands on them become less and less.
From early adolescence, women may rely on elastic support garments to keep them looking trim, They don't seem to realize that girdles and the like cause the muscles to lose their lone and to become "rusty," habitually depending OIl a girdle for support rather than doing the job themselves.
2 A regular program of five to ten minutes' exercise a day will pep up
those lazy muscles and will be more effective and much less expensive than artificial sweeteners, diet drinks, and uncomfortably tight undergarments-bringing you a wonderful sense of accomplishment and physical well-being.
Overweight people frequently ask, "Rocca, what should I do for my overweight problem? Exercise, or cut down on my food intake?" If you consume more food than your system needs to function efficiently. you will become fat. 1f you try to lose weight without exercising your body will become slack. So through a sensible approach to dieting and a thorough and regular exercise program, you can best control yom weight.
A must for the person with a weight problem, or anyone for that matter, is a bathroom scale .. Check your weight a few times a week after a shower or before dressing in the morning. This will give you a realistic picture of the efficiency of your exercise and diet "budget."
Because of all the recent emphasis on losing weight, the problem of being underweight seems to have been neglected. Yet the underweight problem is as acute as the overweight one, Not only are the external muscles of the skinny person receiving insufficient nourishment to develop and perform properly, but the demands of the body's internal functions are being shortchanged as well.
In the first place, there is a great deal of work taking place inside your body all the time, regardless of your activity at the moment. Right now, you are probably sitting down and quietly reading this book. The muscles of your heart, however" are steadily expanding and contracting at an average rate of seventy to eighty times a minute. In fact, throughout the miles and miles of your entire circulatory system, many muscles, valves, arteries, and veins are working every second of the day and night to help keep you alive.
This is equally true of your digestive system. For within a few moments after food enters your stomach, your body automatically goes to work at a job as strenuous as any you might ever perform in the most active sports and games.
As you read, your eyes are constantly expending muscular energy as they move back and forth, following one line after another. And the brain tissues that receive the impulses transmitted by the eyes in turn require nutrition to perform their job properly.
The underweight person must ask himself where the deficiency lies. 3
The answer is generally quite simple. You may not be eating enough; you may not be eating the right foods; or your body may not be properly using those foods. Your meals may be nervous, tense occasions. You may not be receiving enough exercise. It may seem strange that exercise is recommended for both overweight and underweight conditions, but proper exercise has a normalizing effect on the body, helping you to control either situation. There is a difference, though, in the manner of exercising if you are trying to gain weight.
Exercise slowly and methodically, giving extra attention to movements requiring concentrated effort. Don't force yourself to try too many exercises or repetitions in anyone session. Lie down or relax immediately after each session, and refrain from eating soon after your workout. If you wait an hour or so, you'll find your appetite very much stimul ated.
If, after a change of diet and a proper exercise program, you have not gained weight, it would be advisable to consult your family physician.
Is there such a thing as too much exercise? Yes! In fact, too much of many good things can be harmful. Because every person's capacity for exercise varies a great deal from that of others, you have to be the judge of your own limitations.
Everyone has a point of fatigue beyond which he should never venture. Strenuous exercise always increases the heartbeat and rate of breathing. These should return to normal, however, from two to five minutes after you finish exercising. If this return to normal takes much longer, you have gone beyond your personal limit of training and development. This means that more gradual increases and advances are in order.
Remember, correct conditioning does not happen overnight, but develops with regular, intelligent, and sometimes extended effort. Be patient and thorough and you will be surprised how quickly your endurance will increase and your body will grow stronger.
Before each exercise, take a deep breath and exhale slowly. This will bring a fresh supply of oxygen to the system, readying your body for work.
Read the instructions for the exercises carefully and study the pictures. You may be tempted to try the more difficult exercises in each 4 section. at the start. You will probably find these extremely difficult, if
not impossible, to perform correctly at the beginning of your training program. Don't be discouraged. Work hard on the simpler exercises and build up the scale of your repetitions. You'll be surprised to see how quickly you progress.
Most adults find the answer to their athletic needs in individualparticipation sports rather than group athletics. Actually, swimming, boating, skating, and tennis add far more to the range of body strength, endurance, and flexibility than team sports do.
In. selecting a particul ar sport, choose one that will offer the greatest range of stretching and bending.
Swimming is probably the most complete exercise of all. Properly performed, it employs all the muscles of the arms and the legs, stretches the torso and backbone, and is an excellent lung opener.
Bicycle riding is excellent exercise for the lower half of the body and for the stimulation of the entire circulatory system. It helps develop an excellent sense of balance and coordination.
Rowing and canoeing, on the other hand, are excellent for developing back, abdomen, shoulders, arms, and hands.
Ice skating develops a keen sense of balance and timing and is an excellent exercise for legs, ankles, and feet.
These sports, although fairly rigorous in themselves, should be supplemented by a good program of daily exercise.
When you have mastered all the exercises in this program you may ask, "Where do I go from here?" At this point exercise has no doubt become a regular part of your life. Now you can begin to think creatively about your exercise program. Change and modify your routine to suit your particular needs and interests.
But remember: to keep in shape, you must keep exercising daily.
Stop even tor a few days, and the setback will amaze you.
Continued exercise will make it easier to meet life's challenges and will bring greater enjoyment from life's pleasures. Good physical condition means freedom for the body.
Before you start, !et me explain the Rocca system more specifically.
It is a series of graded exercises for every major part of the body, starting with simple exercises that can be performed by almost anyone regardless of age or previous athletic training.
A complete medica! checkup is important before beginning an exer- 5
cise program. This is especially recommended if you haven't had a checkup in a long time.
After spending the first few days on tbe preparatory section, add the first exercise in each specific body section. Don't neglect anyone part of the body to concentrate on the others. At first, 6 to to repetitions of each of these exercises will be enough. Gradually work up to 20 to 25 repetitions in a few days or weeks, depending on your condition. When you have reached that point, go on to the second exercise in each section and continue with this routine until aU seven exercises in each section have been mastered.
The seventh exercise in each section is called a Rocca Special. Each of these is the ultimate test for the specific part of. the body to which that section is devoted. Only when you are in top physical condition will you be able to perform these Rocca Specials successfully. So get to work now and put your body in shape.
Here are five light exercises that will work, move, and stretch every major muscle group in your body. They are designed to loosen your joints, stretch your tendons and ligaments, and give your body tone and foundation for the more complex movements that follow.
For the first few days of exercise, the movements in this section will be sufficient. They should also be used as a daily warm-up when you move 00 to the complete routines in the sections that follow.
These preparatory exercises stimulate breathing and increase blood circulation. They also tone and stretch the muscles and joints and help prevent injuries that can come to muscles and joints that are not ready for hard work.
Remember, for the first few days of your exercise program do only these exercises. After that, do them every day before beginning your regular program, before sports of any kind, or as a tone-up when you get out of bed in the morning.
• BREATHING STRETCH (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, feet comfortably apart, toes pointing straight ahead. Keep your head up, stomach tightened, back tucked in, and chest high.
1. Take a deep, full breath, tilting your head back to face the ceiling, raising your hands over your head as high as you can reach, and rising on your toes, all at the same time. Hold for a moment.
2. Return to starting position by exhaling, whipping your arms down to your sides, and lowering your heels to the floor all in one quick movement.
At least ten repetitions.
• STRADDLE HOP (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, feet together, arms at sides.
1. Simultaneously jump legs wide apart and whip fully extended arms overhead.
2. Return to tarring pOSItIOn by jumping feet together and whipping arms back to sides.
At least fifteen repetitions.
• FRONT BEND (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, legs comfortably apart, fingers behind neck, elbows pulled back.
1. Keeping your knees locked and your back flat and straight, bend down from the waist as far as you can go without forcing. This is easily done by keeping your head up and your eyes looking forward, and making the bend come from the waist and bips.
2. Return to starting position.
Work up to at least thirty repetitions.
• KNUR.AISE (Four-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION, Stand erect, the palms of your hands pressing tightly against the small of your back, fingers touching at your spine.
I. Lift right leg by bending knee and bring it as close to chest as possible.
2. Lower right leg to starting position.
3. Lift left leg in the same manner as in step I.
4. Lower left leg to starting position.
• ARM CLRCLE
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, feet together. Lift your arms straight out to the sides, palms up.
1. Keeping palms up and elbows straight, rotate your hands in a small forward circle, making fifteen revolutions.
2. Now repeat the exercise, making fifteen backward circles.
• THE ABDOMEN
Extending from the front of the lib cage to the pelvic bone is a long and complex muscle system called the abdominus rectus, or, more simply, the abdominal muscles. Tills serves a number of vital functions. First, it serves a the outside of the visceral pouch that contains the intestines and other internal vital organs. Second, it is the main muscle group that holds the trunk erect and makes sitting, standing, and walking possible. The abdominal muscles also assist in breathing by raising and lowering the rib cage.
Without exercise, this muscle structure has a tendency to collapse and extend. thus weakening the ability of the body to move, breathe fully, and digest. Here are seven excellent exercises for the development of the abdominal area. They are the best insurance against, or correction for, the bay-window problem.
(Two- count exercise)
STARTING POS1TION. Lie fiat on back, legs extended arms at sides.
1. Slowly roll head and shoulders up off floor. Hold this position for a few seconds.
2. Lower head and shoulders slowly back to starting position.
Six to eight repetitions.
• SWING SIT-UP (Two-count exercise)
STARTlNG POSITION. Lie flat on floor legs apart, arms extended straight out above head.
1. Swing your arms and trunk to a sitting position, bending forward to touch your toes. Avoid flinging your arms and try to keep them in a straight line with your trunk.
2. Swing back to starting position.
Fifteen to twenty repetitions.
• FOlDED·ARM SIT-UP (Two-count exercise)
STARl'JNG POSITION. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet placed flat on floor. Fold arm across chest, grasping upper arms.
I. Keeping your back straight, sit up and bend forward and down. touching your elbows to inside of knees.
2. Keeping back straight, return to starting position.
ROCCA TIP. The bent knees force your abdominal muscles fa do ail the work.
Fifteen to twenty repetitions.
• PISTON START (Three-count exercise)
STARTING POStTION. Lie flat on Hom, arms at sides, palms Hat on floor.
1. Draw knees up to chest.
2. Straighten knees and extend legs up. toes pointing toward ceiling.
3. Lower legs from hips to about three inches above floor.
ROCCA TIP. Don't allow heels to touch floor until you have finished the last repetition.
Twenty-five to thirty repetitions.
STARTING POSITION. Sit up, legs spread wide, arms extended straight out from sides, horizontal to floor with fists clenched. '
L Keeping arms in a straight plane, twist and bend, touching your right fist to your left toe.
2. Repeat same movement. touching left fist to right toe.
ROCCA TIP. The clenched fists help more eDeclively 10 exercise your abdominal region.
• JACKKNIFE (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Lie on
back, arms extended over head, legs extended.
1. In one quick motion, come to a silting position with your knees drawn up toward your chest, arms clasping them.
2. Return to starting position.
ROCCA TIP, Squeeze your arms and knees rogelher for two seconds each lime )Iou perform position 1.
Work up to fifty repetitions.
• ROCCA SPECIAL PIKE (Two-count exercise)
This exercise is a test of great abdominal strength and flexibility. It should be performed only after frequent and lengthy repetition of the preceding exercises in this section.
STARTING POSITION. Lie flat on back, legs extended, arms at sides.
1. With one quick motion lift trunk and legs off the floor at the same time, making sure not to bend your knees. Hold this position for a count of ten.
2. Return to starting position.
Your personal progress and condition will determine the Dumber of repetitions.
• THE WAIST
The center of movement and energy for every sport and physical activity is the twisting and turning ability of the waist. Observe a good boxer, baseball player, golfer, or wrestler in action and you will see that every blow, every swing, every forceful movement, starts not with the, arms or the shoulders but with the twist of the waist. That is why the mark of every athlete in good condition is a trim, hard, muscular
The following series of exercises is especially designed to harden and
trim not just the front "tummy" area but the hard-to-get-at sides and back of the waistline. With as little as a week's concentrated work in this area you should notice considerable improvement.
• STANDING CIRCLE (Two-count exercise)
STA.RTING POSITION. Stand with feet comfortably apart and hands pressed against buttocks.
1. Holding the hips steady, rotate the entire upper body in a circle to the right, getting all the movement from back, sides, and front of the waist.
2. Repeat same exercise, making fifteen circles to the left.
ROCCA TIP. Have as much bend reaching backwards as you do in front. This equalizes the stretch all around and will make you stipple and flexible.
• SIDE BENDER (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, arms extended out to sides, palms
1. Bend trunk to side over right hip and stretch toward ground with right arm.
2. Repeat step 1 with left ann going over left hip.
ROCCA TIP. Keeping your eyes on the ceiling maximizes the stretch. Try to touch the ground as you bend.
• TWO.WAY STRETCH (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand with legs spread wide apart, your upper body bent forward at the waist, arms extended straight out from the shoulders, fists clenched.
1. Twist and touch your right hand to your left foot.
2. Twist and touch your left hand to your right foot.
ROCCA TIP. Keep your arms in a straight line. As one goes down. the a/her must come up 'he same distance.
• WINDMILL (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand with arms extended straight out to the sides, and feet tightly crossed.
1. Keeping both arms in a straight line, swing the right arm down to touch your forward toe.
2. Repeal step 1 with left arm.
ROCCA TlP. The crossed-foot position makes for maximum stretch to both sides.
Fifteen repetitions. Reverse foot position. Fifteen more repetitions.
• KNEE OV'ER (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Lie on
back, arms extended straight out to sides, palms down, knees drawn up.
] Keeping upper back Hat on floor and knees together, swing knees to the right and touch floor.
2. Repeat step I swinging knees to the left.
ROCCA TIP. Press palms rightly 10 fioor.
• STRAIGHT LEG OVER (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Lie on back
ith arms extended straight out to
rbe sides, palms down. Keeping
knees locked, raise legs at right angle to trunk.
1. Keeping upper back on floor, knees locked, and legs together, swing legs to right, touching floor with feet.
2. Repeat step I swinging legs to left side.
ROCCA TIP. Press palms tightly to floor.
ROCCA CLOCK SPECIAL (Two-count exercise)
This exercise is a great cha 1- lenge to strength, flexibility, and coordination of the entire body, and should be attempted only after intensive work on all the exercises in this section. Mastery of the Rocca Clock Special brings the assurance that your vital midsection can stand up to any task it is called upon to perform.
STARTING POSITION. Lie on your back, arms extended straight out from shoulders, palms down, with legs fiat on the floor.
I. Keeping knees locked, swing legs up and over head, touching toes 10 the floor well above head. Support the weight of your body on the rear of your shoulders and the back of your bead.
2. Swivel entire lower body around like the hand of a clock with toes just clearing the floor, head and shoulders remaining in a stationary position.
ROCCA TIP. Press palms very hard against the /foor 10 help mainfain balance.
• THE SACK
Running the full length of the human trunk from the hips to the skull is the complicated series of bones, cartilage, muscle, and nerve tissue generally called the back.
The back is particularly susceptible to very painful and often perma-
nent injury. Of course, these injuries may be due to a sudden blow or a strain, but they are frequently the result of the simplest turn or move-
On the following pages is a group of exercises that will stretch and
strengthen this entire section, bringing you the utmost in control and flexibility of your back.
• FORWARD STR.ETCH (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSlTION. Stand erect feet comfortably apart, arms full; extended over head.
1. Keeping arms in line with trunk, reach out and down until trunk is at right angle to legs.
2. Return to starting position.
ROCCA TIP. Keep upper back flat, bending from the lower back and hips.
_BACK PULL (Two-count exercise)
S,. .... lUlNG POSITION. Stand with feet wide apart, arms extended from sides, palms facing front.
1. Keeping knees locked, stretch forward and down until you can reach and hold on to the back of your calves.
2. Return to starting position.
ROCCA TIP. Pull hard against calves at least three seconds of each repetition.
• PRESSURE STRETCH (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand with feet wide apart, fingers laced behind neck, elbows pulled back, trunk bent forward at waist making right angle with legs.
1. Swing right elbow down and toward left foot.
2. Repeal step I swinging left elbow down toward right foot.
ROCCA TiP. Press hard with hands against neck 10 increase pressure along entire spinal area,
• flOOR RAISE (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Lie on stomach, hands locked across small of back, legs flat on floor and spread wide.
1. Raise head, shoulders, and chest off ground as far as they will go.
2, Return to starting position.
ROCCA TIP, Press legs hard against floor as you raise upper body.
• fROG STRETCH (Two-count exercise)
START1NG POSITION. Lie on stomach, legs bent back at knee. arms extended backward, hands grasping ankles.
I. Pull hard on feet, forCing them against buttocks, and raise shoulders, bringing head back toward toes.
2. Return to starting position.
ROCCA TIP. Pull hard with legs at the end oj each movement, thus increasing the stretch on The spine.
• TOE PUll (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITJON. Sit with legs spread fairly wide. Bend forward and grasp toes.
I, Pull hard on toes for a few seconds.
2. Return to starting position.
ROCCA TIP. Push hard with your feet against the pull at your hands.
• ROCCA flACK SPECIAL
Like all the other specials this exercise is the ultimate test of the particular part of the body exercised in the preceding section. The Rocca Back Special, properly performed, is an eye-opening stunt and, more than that, proof of a well-coordinated and mighty back. J( diligent and concentrated work has been put in on the exercises in this section, you should be able to master this difficult exercise. This is a twocount exercise.
STARTING POSITION. Lie on stomach, legs and feet together, hands locked across small of back.
1. Contract your entire spine, raising your head, neck, shoulders, and upper chest off the floor on one end, and your legs, knees locked, completely off the floor on the other end, making an arc of your body. Now bounce up and down in a rocking motion on your stomach.
2. Return to starting position.
ROCCA TlP. Press downward with. all your abdominal muscles.
Rock and bounce at least ten times before returning to starting position.
The number of repetitions will be determined by you r personal development.
• THE LEGS
The strongest and most heavily taxed section of the body is the legs. The major leg-muscle groups that we will be concerned with are the quadriceps, the big muscles of the front of the thigb; the hamstrings, which are the round muscles on the rear of the thigh; and the calf
muse! 5 of the lower leg.
The legs, our own built-in transportation, have been replaced in great
part by very efficient and accessible mechanical means of travel. As a result, we walk a great deal less, and walking is one of the best natural exercises for keeping the legs strong and flexible.
The exercises in this section will supplement your daily limited walk-
ing habits and help to put your legs in top condition.
• HAL.F BEND (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITrON. Stand erect with hands locked behind neck, elbows back. Place feet about a foot apart, toes straight ahead and heels fiat on floor.
I. Keeping back straight, hips tucked in, and heels on floor, flex knees to half-knee bend.
2. Return to starting position.
ROCCA TIP. Keep head up for balance.
• ROCCA RUN
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect
hands clasped behind back. '
Run in place, lifting feet and knees high, and bringing feet down flat on floor.
ROCCA TIP. Press hard with each foot as it contacts floor.
Repetitions. At least one hundred steps in place.
• LEG FLIP
STARTING POSI1"ION. Lie on back, arms at sides. Raise legs to vertical position. Bend knees, holding lower leg at right angle to thighs.
1. Keeping thighs stationary, kick lower leg straight up and in line with
2. Return [0 starting position.
ROCCA TTP. This exercise works the front and back muscles of the thighs simultaneously.
Twenty repetitions .
• FULL KNEE BEND (Two-count exercise)
SH.RTING POSITION. Stand erect, feet about eighteen inches apart, toes straight ahead, arms folded across chest.
1. Keeping back straight, head erect, hips tucked under, and heels on floor throughout exercise, bend knees to deep knee-bend position.
2. Return to starting position.
ROCCA TIP. Keep your eyes on rile ceiling.
• ROCCA WALK
STARTING POSITrON. Assume
squatting position, heels flat on floor. toes slightly turned out, arms folded and held well out from body.
Without rising, take short steps forward, heels contacting floor first
ROCCA TIP. Keep arms crossed well in [ront of body and head up to preserve balance.
Reperitions. Take ten steps.
• SQUAT JUMP (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Drop into a full knee-bend position, hands on hips, standing on toes.
1. Leap off ground as high as possible, flinging arms above. head, bringing body into straight line.
2. Drop back into position 1.
ROCCA TIP. The moment you reach the full knee-bend position, bounce up hard on your toes.
• ROCCA LEG SPECIAL (Four-count exercise)
This exercise is the complete test (or strength. endurance, and flexibility of the legs. Try it only after lengthy conditioning with other exercises in the leg section.
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect.
Lift right leg horizontal to floor keeping knee locked. Grasp right ankle with both hands.
1. Go down to a full knee bend on the left leg, keeping left beel flat on floor.
2. Return to starting position by straightening left leg and returning right leg, knee locked, to the floor.
3. Repeat step 1 standing on right Jeg and extending left leg.
4. Return to starting posinon, straightening right leg, then returning left leg, knee locked, to the floor.
Work slowly up to fifteen repetitions.
• THE ARMS
Ask a child to show you how strong he is, and he'll probably flex his arm and show you a "big muscle." A bulging muscle, or bicep, as it is properly called, is not necessarily an indication of a mighty aIlI_l. In fact, there are many more important muscles in the arm than the bicep. The tricep, for instance, is very important in pushing. This muscle, located at the back of the upper ann, frequently becomes flabby in women through Jack of use. The important flexor and extensor muscles of the forearm arc vital to gripping and holding.
The exercises in this section will help to develop the arms in every
• ARM SCISSORS (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, legs comtortably apart, arms extended full length to the front and crossed.
1. Snap arms open wide.
2. Snap back to starting position, scissor fashion.
• ARM CIRCLE
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, feet comfortably apart, arms extended from sides, fists clenched.
1. Keeping arms fully extended, swing them in counter circles.
2. Repeat, reversing direction.
Twenty repetitions in each direction.
• PULLING GRAPES (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, feet comfortably apart, arms bent up and pulled tightly in front of sbou lders, fists clenched.
1. Reach right arm high Over head and pull down as bard as possible, keeping fist tightly clenched all the way.
2. Repeat with left arm.
• PULL PUSH (Three-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, feet comfortably apart, hands clasped together in front of chest.
1. Clasping bands tightly pull both arms hard and bold for five seconds.
2. Relax tension.
3. Push hands together as hard as possible and hold for five seconds.
• ROCCA PUSH-UP (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSiTrON. Lie on floor face dOWIl, legs together. Place hands on floor under shoulders, fingers straight ahead.
1. Keeping body in a straight line with no sag of buttocks or waist push body off floor until elbows ar~ locked and body rests on bands and toes alone.
2. Keeping body in a straight line, lower until chest touches fioor.
Work up 10 fifty repetitions.
• ONE ARM. PUSH-UP (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Lie on floor face down and legs spread. Place right hand under right shoulder and left ann across small of back.
1. Keeping body in straight line with no sag or twist, push body up on right arm until elbow is locked.
2. Keeping body in straight line, lower until chest toucbes floor.
Twelve repetitions on each arm.
This is an extremely difficult exer-
• ROCCA SPECIAL GRAND-DAD EXERCISE
Although this exercise falls within the arm section, it is not only an arm exercise but involves the back. legs, and shoulders all in one. I call it Grand-dad because I feel it is the most difficult movement for the body that has ever been devised. Not one man in a hundred can do it the first time he tries, so don't be discouraged if the Grand-dad seems impossible at first. Work hard on all the preceding exercises in this book, preparing yourself for a try at tbe Grand-dad.
STARTING POSITION. Kneel on floor, with hands placed on the fioor in front of knees, palms down, lingers pointing in and touching.
1. Keeping hands on floor and elbows locked, raise hips until legs are straight, knees locked.
2. Lower body with arms until top of head touches bands. Make sure that feet do not slide backwards and that the legs are straight at the knee.
3. Return to first position.
Try eight repetitions without leaving position.
• THE NECK
The neck is one of the most vital and least exercised parts of the body.
Football, gymnastics, diving, wrestling, and many other active sports
place great stress on the neck muscles.
The neck is subject to many injuries, from the common "stiff neck"
to "whiplash," which is caused by a moving vehicle's coming to a sudden stop, causing the neck to snap violently.
Work hard on the exercises in this section and build up your neck,
bringing it to the same high point of development as the fest of your
• NECK STRETCH (Two-count exercise)
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, arms at sides.
1. Rotate' head in slow full circle to right.
2. Repeat step l , rotating head to left.
• FOUR.WAY NECK PULL
STARTING POSITION. Stand erect, arms at sides.
1. Push with left hand against head, while resisting with neck.
2. Alternately, push with right hand against head, while resisting with neck.
3. Fingers laced behind head, push forward with hands while resisting with neck.
4. Alternately, press hands against forehead, resisting with neck.
Repeat the exercise seven times in all four directions.
STARTING POSiTrON. Lie on back, arms spread out to sides, knees bent, feet flat on floor, a thickly folded towel beneath head.
1. By pressing bard with feet and arching the middle body, put weight on back of head.
2. Return to starting position.
• fRONT BRIDGE
STARTING POSITION. Kneel, bend forward from waist, and place hands on floor beneath shoulders. Place top of head on thickly folded towel on Hoar.
1. Straighten legs and raise hips, weight evenly distributed between feet, outstretched hands, and front top portion of head.
2. Rotate head for thirty second , keeping feet and hands in the same place.
• ADVA.NCED FRONT BRIDGE
This is the same as the previous exercise, with one important difference: Once in the proper starting position, lift bands and arms from the floor and fold them across chest.
Don't forget the thickly folded towel under head, and don't try this exercise until you have spent several weeks on the previous one.
• NECK FACIAL
'This exercise has a somewhat different purpose from all of the others in this book, because it is used primarily to improve appearance. Properly done, it will restore clean, youthful lines to the chin and neck of both men and women.
STARTING POSITION. Sit or stand, head and neck bent well back, and mouth wide open.
Slowly close and open mouth wide while keepi ng head and neck in the bent position.
• THE ROCCA HANGMAN SPECIAL
The Hangman is a supreme test of the strength of your Deck, and is a very dangerous exercise if you have not prepared with several months of concentrated work in the previous exercises in this and all the other sections of this book.
STARTING POSfTION. Stand erect with your body braced for a suprem~ physical effort.
I. Have a person much lighter than you stand facing you and lace his hands behind your neck.
2. Straighten, supporting the entire weight of your partner by your neck alone.
Eventually work up so you are able to support a person of your own weight.
The science of self-defense is a system of self-protection and counterattack designed to help you defend yourself when threatened by physical violence. It should never be used aggressively, but only when you are attacked.
There are certain practical considerations that must be understood by a person who finds himself in a situation requiring self-defense. When confronted by an attacker with a dangerous weapon, comply with his demands unless you are sure of your ability to handle the situation. A stolen wallet or purse is a lot less costly and much easier to sustain than a critical injury.
Once you are clear of the danger, run away from the situation as fast as possible and report the incident to the proper authorities. Don't try to handle it yourself. Only if you find no means of escape should the following techniques be applied.
The elements of self-defense described in this book are not patterned after anyone method, but are simple and effective maneuvers based on such old arts and sports as wrestling, jude, jiujitsu, savate, football, and soccer.
Let me make it clear that the following course is not meant to be a complete and elaborate program of self-defense but, instead, a selection of those tactics and maneuvers that will be most useful and practical to women as well as men if they are forced to defend themselves.
Most men and women in good condition can learn to perform the majority of these techniques effectively. However, the ability to outguess your opponent is something that one develops only through practice and good physical training. Competitive sports will help develop this skill. Tennis, wrestling, football, Ping-pong, fencing, and even ballroom dancing all require you to be a step ahead of your partner or opponent.
Balance is the most important element of self-defense-both your balance and your attacker's. The object is to keep your balance while disturbing his. Regardless of what standing position he is in, a man is never absolutely on balance, because there are only two natural points 57
of support, the two legs.
Always assume that your opponent is stronger than you are, and turn his strength to your advantage. This is accomplished by using your strength to direct his movement, rather than by opposing him directly. When your opponent pushes, you pull, and vice versa.
There are a number of very weak and vulnerable spots on the body which we will discuss in detail later. Let me state here, however, that your maximum strength should always be used against your opponent's greatest weakness. This concept is extremely important for women. For example, it is easier and often more effective to bend back one little finger than all the fingers of a hand.
You must be extremely careful when practicing self-defense techniques with another person in the role of "attacker." Some of these tactics can be hazardous to both participants if performed carelessly.
Always practice on a mat or some other form of floor covering. Try every technique in slow motion until you are sure of the entire procedure. The person in the role of "attacker" should offer only slight resistance and should give with pressure.
In slow motion, practice getting the "attacker" into the proper position for a throw or to apply pressure. Do not go beyond this point until you have practiced the initial steps repeatedly. And when you do, remember: this is only practice.
Never use a knife or any other dangerous object in practice, Always simulate the weapon with a harmless substitute.
Your own quick thinking and resourcefulness are among the most important elements of self-defense. You may have many more defense aids at your disposal than you think.
A lady's purse, for instance, can be a most effective weapon. Tossing a hat or even a handkerchief at the attacker can momentarily distract him and give you a brief advantage.
Indoors you will find many helpful objects; a chair, books, bookends, a lamp or vase, and many other common household items can be useful.
Outdoors a handful of gravel, dust, or dirt, a rock or a stick, something pulled out of a garbage can, the lid of the can, or even the can itself can be of assistance.
Remember, panic is one of your worst enemies, So practice these tactics carefully and thoroughly. Modify them 10 suit your personal skills and needs. You'll find that the sense of security that comes with a good working knowledge of self-defense will bring added self-confidence
58 in your daily routine.
• BASIC DEFENSE TECHNIQUES
Here are a few very simple defense tactics, requiring a minimum of strength and manipulation, which are extremely useful to women ~ well as to men. With a minimum of effort, these holds inflict great pam
to particularly vulnerable areas of the body.
Clench fists, thumbs on. top and pressing down, and jab thumb tips swifdy and firmly into attacker's
This pressure hold is very effective and requires a minimum of strength.
Grab attacker's upper lip just be-
neath nose between your thumb and forefinger or between the knuckles of your forefinger and your middle finger. Pinch bard and pull. This inflicts terrible pain and in many cases can give you complete control of the
A similar technique (not illus-
trated) is putting a finger in each of the attacker'S nostrils, squeezing hard and pulling up. This is similar to leading a bull by a ring in his
Press thumbs up and into neck on either side of chin of attacker. Apply as much pressure as possible.
• DEMONSTRATION OF ELBOW BLOW
A well-placed elbow blow can be one of the most useful defense tactics. The sharpness and hardness of the elbow make it an excellent weapon.
2. Bring bent right arm forward and up.
3. Swing right elbow down and back sharply into opponent's ribs or other accessible vulnerable area.
• DEFENSE AGAINST A KICK
2. Sidestep quickly to outside of attacker's upraised leg, bringing left forearm smartly up against calf of attacker's upraised leg, continuing his motion and taking him off balance.
3. Swing right arm up and under upraised leg, and Jean into attacker's body with your right arm, pushing him completely off balance and to the ground.
• DEMONSTRATION OF HIP TOSS
1. Grasp opponent firmly at lop of upper arms.
2. Pivot 10 left on lefl foot, swinging your right leg across and through in front of opponent's body, swinging him to your right as you turn.
3. Place your hip firmly against opponent's right side.
4. Holding your opponent firmly, snap forward at waist, bringing him over your hip and to the ground.
• DEFENSE AGAINST A. BEARHUG ATTACK
1. Bear-hug attack.
2. Bring your hands out to sides, clenching fists.
3. Drive fists sharply into attacker's side.
4. Bring right knee sharply against attacker's head.
5. Drive attacker to ground with upward thrust of knee.
• TWO DEFENSES AGAINST A FRONTAL ATTACK (Defense 1)
2. Deflect right arm of attacker with left forearm, and bring right hand over attacker's left wrist.
3. Swing your body to left, bringing your right arm up and under attacker's left armpit.
4. Continue swing of body to left, bringing arm up and across back of attacker's neck.
5. Swing your right leg forward, bringing your right hip and thigh into attacker's right hip.
6. Toss attacker to ground.
• TWO DEfENSES AGAINST A fRONTAL ATTACK (Defense 2)
2. Pivot slightly on left foot, swinging your right leg and hip across and behind attacker's right leg. Swing your hip into attacker's right hip.
3. Swing attacker across right hip to left.
4. Continue swing to left, tossing attacker across right hip to ground.
• DEFENSE AGAINST AN A IT ACK FROM. SIDE
2. Swing your torso to left, bringing your right arm over and across attacker's shoulders.
3. Step in with your right leg, bringing your right hip against attacker's right side,
4. Applying pressure of the crook of your arm to attacker's neck and throat, bring him over, down, and to the ground.
• DEFENSE AGAINST AN ATTACK F.ROMTHIE REAR (Defense 1)
2. Bring right arm forward and up, bent at elbow.
3. Drive elbow back hard against attacker's midsection. At the same time, slip your right foot behind attacker's left foot.
4. Kick attacker's left loot forward. This forward kicking action, combined with backward thrust of elbow, will throw attacker oft balance.
,s. Run away and report incident to authorities.
• DEFENSE AGAINST AN ATTACK FROM THE REAR [Defense 2)
l. Attack from rear.
2. Grasp attacker's left wrist, his palm up, with your left hand, pressing down firmly. At the same time place your forearm under attacker': armpit and pull up sharply.
3. With continued pressure to attacker's arm, swing attacker to right, using his momentum to assist you.
4. nmtinue your forward motion, maintaining arm hold and pressure, and bring attacker to ground.
• DEFENSE AGAINST A STRANGLE FROM THE REAR
2. Grasp attacker's right wrist with your left hand and his right forearm firmly with your right hand.
3. At the same time turn your head sharply to the left. This takes direct pressure off your throat, placing the strong muscles of the side of the neck against the pressure of the attacker's arm.
4. Drop swiftly to your right knee, bending smartly forward at the waist.
5. At the same time, snap your right shoulder across to the left and, maintaining a strong grip on your attacker's ann, swing him over your right shoulder and to the ground.
• DEFENSE AGAINST AN ATTACK BY A MAN WITH A CHAIR
2. Sidestep quickly to right out of range of chair and block swing of chair with left forearm.
3. With your right foot sharply kick the back of attacker's left knee. At the same time grasp attacker's left wrist with your left band.
4. As attacker bends from your kick, place your right hand on his right shoulder and slide it down to his right wrist. bending both arms back sharply and bringing him to the ground.
• DEFENSE AGAINST ATTACK BY A MAN WITH A BOTTLE OR OTHER DANGEROUS OBJECT
2. With your left forearm, block attacker's arm swinging bottle.
3. Swing your right shoulder around to left, bringing your ann smartly across and behind attacker's neck. At tbe same time, grasp attacker's right wrist with your left hand, applying counter-joint pressure to arm.
4. Snap forward smartly at waist, forcing attacker backward and to ground.
• DEFENSE AGAINSt A GUN ATTACK FROM THE fRONT
Remember, defending yourself against an attacker with a dangerous weapon is extremely difficult and should be avoided at all costs. Only when there is no possible retreat should you attempt to defend yourself.
2. Step smartly to right of gun and in close to attacker's body. Being close to the attacker's body makes you a difficult target. At the same time, bring left arm up beneath right forearm of attacker.
3. Pivot right toward gun arm and bring right hand down hard against gun hand, grasping thumb and pressing down, causing painful counter-joint action of wrist, forcing attacker to open hand and drop weapon ..
4. When weapon has been released, give a sharp right kick to the shin or a sharp knee to the groin, and a hard right elbow blow to the attacker's midsection.
• DEfENSE AGAINSt A. KNIFE ATTACK FROM BEHIND
The best defense against a knife or any other dangerous weapon is a hasty retreat as far away from your attacker as possible. If you can't run away, comply with his requests. Give him your purse, wallet, money, or jewelry without argument. Your life is more valuable than your money, no matter how large the sum. Only when there is no other alternative should you use a self-defense" maneuver against an armed attacker, and only when you are absolutely sure of the technique.
2. Pivot quickly and sharply on your left foot to the left, at the same time bringing your left forearm under and up beneath the attacker's wrist that holds the knife,
3. Complete pivot facing arm holding knife and bring your right hand down sharply against attacker's wrist, locking your fingers together and forcing his hand hack, causing very painful counter-joint pressure to the attacker's wrist, forcing him to release the knife.
A sharp kick with your right foot to the attacker's left shin is an excellent assist in this. defense.
The next two maneuvers are included to illustrate how a master of self-defense in top physical condition can handle two big men at once.
Only after intensive study and careful practice of this section should you attempt the next two techniques. And, of course, you must be in top physical condition .
• DEFENSE AGAINST ATTACK BY TWO MEN FROM FRONT
1. Attack. (Man in jacket A, man in shirt B.)
2. Swing your right ann under and up, striking A's face with back of fist and driving his left arm up and out with your forearm.
3. Swing sharply around, grasping B under left arm and across back, twisting his body to left. Continuing swing of B, toss him over your right hip, and swing swiftly to Jeft.
4. Bring left knee sharply up into A's chest or midsection, raising right hand, prepared for judo chop.
5. Bring right hand sharply down on back of A's neck, and retreat as quickly as possible.
• DEFENSE AGAINST ATTACK BY TWO MEN, ONE IN FRONT AND ONE FROM BEHIND
1. Attack. (Man in jacket A, man in shirt, B.)
2. Grasp B's right wrist with your left hand and his upper forearm with your right hand. Snap forward at waist, lifting B oft' ground.
3. Pivot smartly to left, striking A with B's swinging legs.
4. With aid of continued momentum from swing, toss B over right shoulder to ground.
5. Once free, retreat as quickly as possible.